Beliefs Culture David Gushee: Christians, Conflict and Change Ethics Opinion

Why this Christian says Christianity is harmed by Kim Davis and her fans


Kimberly Davis, the Rowan County, Ky., clerk, is in the Carter County Detention Center in Kentucky being held in contempt of court for refusing to issue marriage licenses. She halted all licensing because she has a religious objection to signing licenses for same-sex couples. Mug shot photo from the public records of the Carter County Detention Center.

So Rowan County, Kentucky clerk Kim Davis is now in jail for her refusal to issue any marriage licenses if she must issue them to gay couples. As I write on Friday morning, September 4, preachers are outside the courthouse with their “homosexuality is an abomination to God Almighty” signs and their shouts of defiance.

READ: “Kentucky Clerk’s office will issue marriage licenses Friday — without the clerk”

Not long after the Supreme Court ruling affirming gay marriage and requiring national access to it, I wrote several pieces exploring the civil disobedience issue and its applicability here. I stand by my claim that government officials who fail to enforce the law are not practicing civil disobedience, but instead simply violating the rule of law and their sworn obligation to enforce it. Because they are not conscripts, they have an obvious alternative to enforcing a law they do not like — they can resign.

READ: “Why civil disobedience is irrelevant to gay marriage”

It appears that all legal arguments in defense of Kim Davis and others like her will fail. When it’s all over, the law will be enforced.

I will not comment further on the legal issues. Now I simply want to speak as a Christian to my fellow Christians, like Kim Davis and those who rally angrily for her today. If I were in a room with you all, I would say this:

Brothers and sisters, clearly you intend to be faithful to Jesus Christ and to your Christian faith. I respect that. You are willing to pay a price for your faith. I respect that too. You believe the Bible could never permit two men or two women to wed. Understood. Many Christians agree.

But your actions in defense of the faith are actually harming Christianity and its witness today.

The fundamental message of the Christian faith is not that homosexuality is an abomination or unjust laws should not be enforced. Even if you believe both of those things that is still not the Christian message. Don’t you agree that our message is more like “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him might not perish but have eternal life” (Jn 3:16)? Isn’t that the Good News that we preach?

Certainly that is Good News. And certainly that is the kind of ministry that Jesus himself conducted, going everywhere and to everyone to tell them the news that God is for them, that God loves them. And then Jesus showed his love for the world by dying on the Cross.

But today many Christians seem to be leading with the back of their hands to gay people, not with the embrace of God’s love. And it just makes us look like haters to everyone else. This approach really needs to be reconsidered.

The early Christians took the message of God’s redeeming love out into the pagan Roman Empire. They had no power at all in that fearsome Empire other than the power of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And that was all the power they needed. The Gospel advanced through inclusive, reconciling love.

Maybe the situation conservative Christians face today should be interpreted in light of the early church and ancient Rome. If the United States has taken a fateful wrong turn with gay marriage (and abortion, and etc.), then probably it is not going to work for Christians who believe this to hold public office and be required to enforce the laws of this country. A clearer separation between conservative Christianity and a liberal democratic state will have to be made. If you don’t have the people or the law with you, then you may need to walk away from state positions and retreat into church communities where your values can be expressed.

Of course, you will probably want to pay attention to the charge that your group of Christians is selectively interpreting the Bible, as when, for example, you attack homosexuality but not serial marriage, divorce, and remarriage (Mt 19:1-12), or materialism (Mt 6:24-25), or lack of forgiveness (Mt 6:14-15), or judging others (Mt 7:1-5).

You do know, I hope, that not every Christian agrees with your interpretation of the Bible on the gay issue itself. Some of us have come to the conclusion that the church has been wrong on gay people and how God relates to them — and therefore how Christians should do so. You probably will never agree with me or others like me who have taken a more embracing view, but I hope you will at least consider that view — and certainly remember that you do not speak for all Christians.

Meanwhile, my friends, as the TV cameras record your every word and gesture outside that Kentucky court house, remember that, as we Christians like to say, “for some people you are the only Jesus they will ever see.” Ask yourself whether the Jesus the world is seeing in you today resembles the Jesus we see in the Gospels. It’s a question for all Christians, all the time.

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David Gushee


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  • I couldn’t care less if people of the same gender who love each other want to be married. But, when God clearly says in His word how marriage is defined, and He clearly states sex is b/t man and woman in marriage…well, my stance on gay marriage becomes unimportant in the bigger picture of God’s Judgement which will fall on this country. We are all sinners. All of our sins will be a part of the reason for judgement on America. It doesn’t make it right in God’s eyes to say we will allow gays the right to marry. And, it doesn’t make it right for my church-going neighbor to have a mistress either. So, it comes down to the individual’s heart in following God’s Word which doesn’t change to meet our changing world.

  • Science not in, Heather, you both labor under a delusion that is being foisted upon Conservative Christians and ultimately self-defeating.

    The delusion is thinking that religious freedom only applies to your faith and is license to do whatever to whomever you want. As long as Jesus gives you an excuse, any act, no matter how malicious or harmful is somehow moral.

    Religious freedom means nobody ever has to give a flying crap what you think God says nor can be forced to care. Government office is not your personal pulpit. You cannot use public resources and authority to force others to abide by your beliefs. Jesus does not excuse discrimination nor give you permission to do so under color of law.

    Nobody has to suffer for your beliefs. If you are so deranged by religious fervor and personal bigotry that you cannot follow civil laws, tough luck. Face the penalties of your actions with some backbone. Davis was a bigoted dishonest coward as are her supporters.

  • If you pick apart the argument of gay “marriage”, it comes down to a piece a paper, a contract between two people, regardless of gender, recognized by our government. A piece of paper and recognition that will allow them to have the same rights and privileges as every other straight couple. That’s all.

    They are not asking for Holy Matrimony, as defined by “The Church”; they’re asking for equal treatment in the eyes of the law of this land, and it should be given to them.

    For me, this was refreshing to read, and it gives me hope that others will come around to similar thinking. Love is and has always been the way.

  • Of course Christianity is harmed by Kim David and her fans.

    They give the impression that Christians are self-absorbed, power hungry bigots who have no regard for civil laws or lives of others.

    They give the impression that Christians feel they are allowed to act badly with impunity. irregardless of the law and simple human decency, if they can claim Jesus gives them an excuse for it.

    They undermine any claim Christians make about moral authority. Reducing their view of it to merely excuses for sociopathic behavior.

    Of course all of those things may be what they really want for Christianity. So the harm is only on the liberal/progressive sects who aspire for something more than self-aggrandizing sectarian behavior and bigotry.

  • “Ask yourself whether the Jesus the world is seeing in you today resembles the Jesus we see in the Gospels”

    I would not direct a decent person
    to examine the Jesus of the Gospels:

    “Execute them”- JESUS (Luke 19:27)
    “Hate Them” – JESUS (Luke 14:26)
    “Avoid Them” – ROMANS (16:17)
    “Do not associate with the GUILTY..” (1 Corinthians 5:11)
    “Bad company….” (1 Corinthians 15:33)
    “Do not even to eat with such a one.” (1 Corinthians 5:11)
    “Do not receive him…or greet him..” (2 John 1:10)
    “tell him his fault.” (Matthew 18:15)
    “Have nothing to do with him!” (Titus 3:9-11)
    “LET HIM BE REMOVED” (1 Corinthians 1:13)
    “In the name of Jesus..keep away from him!” (2 Thess 3:6)
    “CURSE HIM” – (1 Cor. 16:22)
    “Deem them unworthy” – JESUS (Matt 10:13)

    David Gushee:
    Your morality is far superior
    to any Jesus found in the Gospels. They are wretched stories.

  • @Science not in:

    “…proudly and impenitently LGBT – rejecting both Law and Gospel.”

    WHAT LAW are they rejecting?
    As for the Gospel – SO WHAT?! The Gospel is imaginary anyway.
    Who are you to care? It is a free country.

    Go back to being humble!
    Your Christian superiority meter forgot to remind you that your God considers you nothing more than a doormat.

  • What an upside-down world you live in, Science not in. It is right-wing Christians who are portraying themselves falsely as victims, equating their having to follow the law with persecution and demanding “special rights” for themselves.

  • Sadly, the nearsightedness of the pro-Gay posters is glaring. This country was founded and built by people who understood there are lines that are never crossed. However, the eccentric Left in this country is on a blind mission to the land of no return. I’ve never seen so many oddballs assembled in one place as outside of that courthouse. If “Love has Won,” then WHAT has it won. This so called victory is the equivalent of a finished home, being disassembled one board and brick at a time until all is left is a pile of rubble. The destruction being left in the wake of this is off the charts, and on the scale of “legion.” As I’ve said in other posts, normal, average Americans are being ambushed by a flood of deception spewed forth from the Devil himself (Rev 12:15). Anyone who doesn’t see the Devil at work here is IQ deficient.

  • Embracing the homosexual person as an equal child of God is one thing. Embracing the notion of homosexual marriage is an absolute defiance of nature and God’s plan.
    It is completely in Christian character to ignore the legality of gay marriage….and should be so with humanity, in total.
    Since it now joins abortion, euthanasia, suicide, and drug use as legal rights, the citizenry is fooled into believing they are “good”, even moral progress in this “enlightened” world. That illusion is simply a dangerous lie and Christians have every right to condemn these laws as anti the greater good.
    A Religious conscience and a worldly conscience can and do work together, but the latest fad is to dismiss any remote Christian reference from the national debate. That is like asking people to drain themselves of half of who they are, and act in concert with only those devoid of any respect for relgious ideals.

  • The nearsightedness is of people who want a special pleading that their form of bigotry and violations of civil law should be treated more special than any other form of the same behavior we have seen.

    It does a disservice to Christianity in that it paints them as selfish, dishonest, hateful types who only seek personal privilege and have no regard for the rights of others.

  • If gays have pursued marriage because of the benefits, that alone cheapens their rationale. Few heterosexuals prioritize the “benefits” as a reason to wed.
    Why can’t I put my grandchildren on my medical insurance, or my sister if they live with and depend on me? I suppose my love for them does not qualify as a relationship. But an imaginary marriage of two men reaps great rewards now.

  • I’ve been hearing a lot of this “God’s judgement will fall on America because of homosexuality” nonsense since the Clinton administrattion. If “God’s Judgement” did not fall on us because of our slavery and genocide of Native Americans but would because we cease persecuting a perescuted group, then that would be clear proof such a god is not good and not worthy of worship.

  • @Dominic:

    “abortion, euthanasia, suicide, and drug use as legal rights, the citizenry is fooled into believing they are “good’ ”

    The question is not what is “good”! Who are you to decide for others?
    The question is WHO in a free society should be in charge of these matters?

    The Constitution says you should be free to decide these things for yourself.
    Your preference for Sharia Law is shameful. Religious law is dehumanizing.

    Besides, your God offers no insight into proper behavior.
    Your God (a fictional character like Voldemort) commands
    Genocide, Suicide, Abortion, Murder, Rape, Torture and Slavery.

    “If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to be maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out.” – JESUS (Mark 9:43)

    This is the definition of depravity.

  • You know, you would be completely surprised how unimportant you and your ilk – and God almighty there is so much ilk there– are to us. You’re only importance lies in the misery you have managed to inflict upon gay lives for the last 2000 years. For the last 50 or 60 years, that importance has slowly eroded, at least in the civilized world.

    Everything you say is merely the cry of the professional victim, thwarted in his ability to victimize innocent others, and surprised as hell that it happened. Believe me, you couldn’t possibly be any more unimportant than you already aren’t.

    Enjoy your frustration. Enjoy your self professed, but otherwise, completely imaginary victimization. I’m pretty sure it’s all you have left.

  • Why does it cheapen it? Just because they don’t look at marriage the same way Christians do? Or that marriage is and has always been a legal contract between two people?

    And heterosexuals don’t have to prioritize them because they are allowed them without question.

    Why wouldn’t they seek those same benefits? Are they some how not entitled to them? They’re people same as everyone else. How would you feel knowing that if you were dying, that blood family members could override your spouse’s right to see you, because your marriage (as defined by the state, not Church, isn’t considered legal or valid.) That insurances and companies that you work for and paid your hard earned money to for years could deny your wish to leave things to your spouse. That your spouse, who might have terrible medical issues, isn’t allowed to be put on your insurance. I fail to see how allowing this has any negative impact on “Christian marriage”.

  • “I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness” (Psalm 84:10b).

    I would also rather be a doormat. And no, it’s not a free country. There are only a few deviant “freedoms” being pushed by post-modern misanthropic Malthusian fascists to give the illusion of freedom. The rest of us are being trod asunder.

  • Dominic,

    “Benefits…cheapens their rationale”

    Marriage has always been a legal contract and nothing more.
    Contracts benefit both parties – which is why people enter into them.

    Religion has no claims over marriage – millions of marriages happen regardless of religion by justices of the peace and others.

    Religion has no claim on love either. Many forms of love are forbidden by religion:

    “Hate them all” – JESUS (Luke 14:26)

    The world is waking up from this medieval baloney.

  • Dominic,

    “the latest fad is to dismiss any remote Christian reference from the national debate.”

    I don’t think 240 years of our Atheist Constitution is a fad.
    (“Congress shall make no law establishing a religion…”)

    And why shouldn’t Christianity continue to be dismissed
    as all other religions routinely are? Christianity has no evidence for any of its claims. It is PROUD of its absence of evidence and even calls it virtuous to have faith!

    These are not grown-up arguments. When there is no evidence for something it should be dismissed. And it is.

  • My thoughts on Kim Davis:

    She does have a right to stand up for her convictions, but when there is a conflict between personal convictions and your job, then it seems only natural that one would resign, instead of trying to force your job to conform to your personal convictions.

    This lady is an elected official. She cannot be fired. She has to be voted out by state legislators in session or removed by election of a new person. So essentially for the last 70+ days, this lady has refused to do her elected job. She has (to my knowledge) still gotten paid and been provided benefits, without providing the service. That is stealing, as far as I’m concerned, and if I recall there are clear rules about that in the Bible as well. Yet, somehow that’s being overlooked by all those crying out in her favor.

  • There’s no reason that you shouldn’t try it now. It doesn’t mean that everyone else will follow suit, but it has to start somewhere.

    It’s unlikely that “religion” as an organization will ever dissolve, but that’s not to say that what is exists can’t or shouldn’t be redefined from what it is now.

  • K, technically you are correct, but, in terms of those of us involved in churches who favor a change in church polity so that same sex marriages are blessed by the church that is not so, exactly. We are presently undergoing sturm-und-drang over this in the United Methodist Church, where on paper we do not have same sex weddings or LGB clergy (I leave off the T because me have one transman pastor in Maryland I know of) but many including many heterosexuals like me wish to have this changed. This is what the Episcopals, United Church of christ, etc., have done. In the United Methodist Church we are presently negotiating a separation of sorts with fundamentalists in our midst. But that is peculiar to certain denominations like ours. If someone wants to have a church which makes heterosexism its ideology, we have no objection.

  • That is simply your view, Dominic, informed by bigotry and your wholly imaginary superiority. After all, we couldn’t possibly want marriage Becuase we have been raised in a culture that values marriage–or used to, before the Kim Davis’s, Donald trumps, Mickey Rodney’s, newt gingriches, Rush limbaughs, and all the rest– of the world turned it into their personal excuses for bad behavior.

    No, in your view, it has to be something cheap and tawdry, Becuase you can’t possibly see us as human beings who love, seek intimacy, wish to build lives together, to protect our children, live out our faiths if we have them, protect our assets and the lives we have built DESPITE the depredations of religious bigots.

    nah. It couldn’t be anything like that.

  • “The Gospel advanced through inclusive, reconciling love. Maybe the situation conservative Christians face today should be interpreted in light of the early church and ancient Rome.”

    Good advice, Dr. Gushee. However, you DO know, I presume, that this “inclusive, reconciling love” was very much perceived as hatred by Rome:

    “The originator of the name, Christus, was executed as a criminal by the procurator Pontius Pilate during the reign of Tiberius; and though repressed, this destructive superstition erupted again, not only through Judea, which was the origin of this evil, but also through the city of Rome, to which all that is horrible and shameful floods together and is celebrated. Therefore, first those were seized who admitted their faith, and then, using the information they provided, a vast multitude were convicted, not so much for the crime of burning the city, but for HATRED OF THE HUMAN RACE [emphasis mine]” –Cornelius Tacitus, Annals 44:3-4

  • @Science is not in,

    “The rest of us are being trod asunder….I would also rather be a doormat.”

    If so, what is your complaint?
    If it is true, you have your wish.

  • (cont.) Dr. Gushee, while you are encouraging those with reservations in this matter to reconsider them, I would at the same time ask to remember and consider the words of the Gospel: “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come. It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble.”

    For as Paul said to our brethren facing similar moral dilemmas in their day, “whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.”

    Food for thought from one Christian to another. Peace.

  • This word salad post consists entirely of Faux talking points, assumes facts not in evidence, and otherwise makes no sense whatsoever.

  • “Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.” –Abraham Lincoln.

  • Tacitus is NOT conclusive.

    “…to someone who is reading Annals without specifically looking for confirmation, the account is, as Guignebert said, “quite worthless.” The information..shows only that early Christians believed such, not that that belief was factual. How much of the story is based on fact versus myth is not answered by Tacitus’ writings.
    “Non-canonical evidence, even if thousands of definitive sources existed, would not prove anything other than that a revolutionary Jewish preacher started a religious movement which, after it had been adapted to include Greek values, became wildly successful. It would not be evidence that any of the…claims of the resulting religion are true.”*

    There is no way to know whether Tacitus was repeating empty Christian claims in the air at the time (as believers do today), or whether he did due diligence to determine the real facts. Tacitus reveals wild biases.

    *Iron Chariots

  • Lincoln, addressing a religion-soaked culture, used religious rhetoric to sell ideas.

    Unfortunately, so did the Southern Baptists who were founded in 1840 to support Christian Slavery.

    Christianity can be used this way because it speaks out of both sides of its mouth:

    “The slave will be severely punished”
    “Surrender to the perverse”
    “enslave those who live among you, even the children”

    Humanity must admit it does not need these silly creeds – we can do better without them.

  • I believe this sort of oblique post is intended to imply the author (Gushee) is somehow encouraging sin (i.e., being “a stumbling block”) apparently by being LGBT, as near as I can figure out. I would encourage the writer of this post to therefore look in the mirror rather than out the window. There is no reasonable argument which can be made that to be LGBT, or to have a same sex wedding, is ipso facto sinful. However, to encourage wrath and hatred, most assuredly is.

  • K.

    I love plenty – perhaps a little more than our religion-soaked culture will allow.

    “Hate them…or you are not worthy of me.” – JESUS (Luke 14:26)

  • I remember the time I moved to the Southeast of the Country, and was surprised that the towns were literally dead on Sundays. And that was simply the law: people established Sunday as a day for Church, family, and relaxation. And looking back on it, I first thought it was strange; now, however, I see how nice it really was. And that is no different than what is going on here. It would be no different if the Supreme Court were to tell people in the South that they had to run 7 days a week, and not close their stores on Sundays. The truth is, States run their states as they see fit. And it is no business what the SCOTUS thinks. They are not a legislative body, but only an arbiter. Decisions on whether homosexual marriage is a legal is really not their position. The House writes law, the Senate amends law, the president signs law, and the supreme court has judicial authority, not legislative authority. The Supreme court should have sent this back to Congress to make them do their job.

  • What did Jesus say about end times: “But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over … put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. And so you will bear testimony to me” Luke 21:12-13. Looks like Kimberly Davis is experiencing the Gospel as our Lord said it would play out. We are seeing the beginning of the end. It will only get worse before our Lord returns.

  • I would say to David Gushee that if he wants more Christians to be more open to the view that they should put first things — the Gospel — first, he needs to get out of the way and let someone more thoughtful and intelligent make the case.

    All the more so when he makes a further argument that more Christians should embrace gay marriage.

    I say this because he is an awful messenger for both messages. He comes across as smug, self-righteous, and dismissive of Christians who disagree with him. He can’t even get through a short paragraph without revealing more than anyone wants to know about his deep-seated biases.

    I suspect that there are plenty of people who believe exactly as Gushee does who can do a better job of it. For starters, someone who doesn’t have Gushee’s status anxiety — his desperate desire to convince elites somewhere, maybe in his own head, that he is really one of them and not part of de classe fundamentalism from whence he came..

  • Gushee’s not the brightest bulb in the batch and, lacking any sense of historical perspective, seems to think liberalism is some brand-new toy he wants to own to make him popular with the “cool kids” …..but having said that, I want to add that not all gay people think the way you think they do. I know several people who really have absolutely no interest in seeing us as Christians harassed or punished for standing for our convictions. That needs to be stated and restated. Not all gay people have been radicalized….I”m more than prepared to believe that most have not and are content to be left alone and to leave others alone.

  • It not only affects “Christian” marriage, it affects the natural definition and reasoning for marriage. In even remote tribes buried in the Amazon jungles, two men acting as husband and wife would never cross their mind. Animals of the same sex do not ” mate” for life. Humans have worked very hard to violate reason.

  • Max, Shawnie’s point was to rebut the prior poster who denied that anything bad happened to this country for its past sins, including slavery.

    I would say the Civil War itself was punishment, with the many dead, and obviously, President Lincoln concurred.

  • Max says, “Christianity has no evidence for any of its claims.”

    Well, Max, since you don’t know or care to know what constitutes actual rules of evidence, historically or otherwise, your assertion is mere pretense.

  • It’s interesting how the Religious Right wing is rapidly adopting victimization and persecution from Feminists as a political stance. It won’t work, of course, beyond their quickly dying political base, because the notion than Christians in the West are “victimized” is quite literally laughable; whereas, in many cases, women have been and remain victimized by aspects of our culture.

    Unfortunately, these artificially inflamed feelings of persecution is likely to further radicalize some Bible-cultists, towards religious violence. Sadly, I won’t be surprised when “christians” (of the Westboro Baptist variety who haunt the comments on this site), start shooting up LGBT community centers, just as they’re already targeting Black churches.

  • It is not only my view, it is the consensus of many, whether they publicly say it or not. I am bigoted towards words being used improperly to define something….which it really is not. Marriage is male/ female. There is really no such thing as a sex change….your DNA exposes your true identity….and so on.
    I understand the desire to be something that one cannot be, but wishes only come true in dreams.

  • “Post-modern misanthropic Malthusian fascists”……

    Now that’s a mouthful, but sadly on-target.

    Especially the Malthusian part….

  • “There is no reasonable argument which can be made that to be LGBT, or to have a same sex wedding, is ipso facto sinful.”

    There is most certainly a scriptural argument to that effect. And if you do not feel scriptural arguments to be reasonable, why then do you affiliate yourself with a denomination founded by a man who described himself as “homo unius libri” (a man of one book), John Wesley? A denomination whose very name was originally an insult created by people like our interlocutors around here, intended to mock the “methodical” way in which they went about the study of scripture and the performance of social service?

    The wrath/hatred of the Roman world was not our Master’s doing, nor ours, and neither is the wrath/hatred of our present day secular world. We were promised it by Him, we’ve received it, and there is no surprise whatsoever in any of it.

  • Note how quickly Gushee reaches the default position of American ultra-fundamentalism — just withdraw completely from public life and the culture and go back to old fundamentalist ghettos.

    Sorry, but many of us didn’t come from such separatist, pietistic religious backgrounds, but from backgrounds where Christian involvement in the life of the nation — or any nation where we find ourselves — is the expected norm.

  • I sense a certain hesitance in him. I don’t believe he’s completely easy in his mind about the stance he has taken. The Spirit is still at work.

    We’ve all been there, wanting to go down a path different from the one the Word directs us to, and even straying a little way down it before “Thy rod and Thy staff” pulls us back.

  • @Greg1: “This country was founded and built by people who understood there are lines that are never crossed.” You mean, it was founded and built by those who killed off Native Americans and slept with – and impregnated – their female slaves? Those kinds of uncrossable lines? By your argument, it seems to me Americans were being “ambushed” by Satan back in the day, then, too – the NATIVE Americans certainly were ambushed (no quotation marks needed). Hmm. Maybe God’s judgment is retroactive where the founding of this country is concerned. Meanwhile, I don’t see that gay marriage hurts anyone – and if you think it does, then maybe a prayerful posture for the LGBT community would be not only appropriate but gracious.

  • No – not ‘comic relief.’ These are very valid questions he raises, and if we followers of Jesus are not prepared to dive into the tough questions but would rather name-call, then we have no business following Jesus in the first place.

  • @Greg1, your comment is simply insulting. Jesus was talking to His apostles and, as we know, all but John perished as martyrs. Travel to China and get to know some of those believers in the Chinese underground – THOSE are the modern day martyrs of the faith, not some government employee who is refusing to carry out the duties of her office. After all, she can choose to find a different job.

  • Jack,

    “the Civil war was punishment”

    UGH! The ironies are lost on you entirely.

    There isn’t a single condemnation in the Bible against slavery or slave owners!
    The Civil War was about shutting down the Southern Baptist Church’s attempt to spread its slavery doctrine westward!

    Slavery, according to your God – IS A BLESSING not a sin for both the slave and the MASTER! Why would the same God which commands slavery decide to punish the slave owners who practiced EXACTLY WHAT HE PREACHED!

    “You shall purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you…also the children..You may treat them as your property… as inheritance” – God (Lev. 25:44)

    The Civil War? A punishment from GOD? How could that possibly make any sense? That is just fatuous, insipid nonsense.

  • I dont believe you are a Christian if you fell Kim Davis is wrong for standing on her convictions you miss the whole point of being a christian if you feel we have to accept the law of man over Gods law.

  • I am a gay Christian. I attend my Episcopal Church where I was baptised and confirmed twice weekly. I also do my morning and evening prayers and readings from the Bible. We do exist!! I have personally been blessed by God’s Love. I have also been blessed by having a wonderfully loving and inclusive and embracing congregation. It really is inspiring. The local work we do with homeless shelters and food banks is humbling. My church involvement has made me truly happy.

    Kim Davis does not speak for me. In fact, if I lived in her county, I would be denied by her services.

    Yes. Gay christians do exist. I am one of them. Thank you for writing this article!! Peace!!

    Gay Christians do exiat

  • What remote tribes in the Amazon are you speaking of Dominic, because to be honest I find that statement very hard to believe.

    Homosexuality in nature and people have always existed, as have people who identify as the gender opposite of the one they were born.

    Do some research on “two-spirited” people and their roles in Native American tribes. And in nature there are all sorts of things that happen that would go against what you consider the “natural” law. There are animals that are able to change their gender. There are animals that do engage in what we would define as “homosexuality”.

    Sorry, but I don’t see how reason is being violated.

  • @Greg1, Jesus told us to “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and render unto God what is God’s.” Kim Davis is not ordained and has no authority over the sacrament of Holy Matrimony. She is a civil servant passing out legal documents as directed by secular law, which she swore an oath to uphold. Government-issued marriage certificates are of man, not God.

    To illustrate the difference more clearly: America has a long tradition of honoring the conscientious objections of those who cannot reconcile their faith with being drafted to serve in war. But you have to claim CO status when you are drafted; if you wait until after you enlist, you are a deserter. Similarly, a general cannot wake up one morning, claim God wants him to be a pacifist, and instruct his soldiers to lay down their arms. He would be relieved of duty and court-martialed.

    If Davis had her objections, she should not have taken the job. She has no excuse. Five states already had legal gay marriage when she took…

  • You must have slept through that part of Scripture where Jesus said to “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and render unto God what is God’s,” or his departing words to the Twelve Apostles at the Last Supper, that love comes first, and everything else is secondary.

    Kim Davis is not ordained and has no authority over the sacrament of Holy Matrimony. She is a civil servant passing out legal documents as directed by secular law, which she swore an oath to uphold. Government-issued marriage certificates are of man, not God.

  • Hear, hear! And those “special rights” they demand are the “right” to be discriminating bigots. The same was argued for slavery . . . and Jim Crow laws . . . and anti-miscegenation laws. It always takes a while to figure out where the evil truly lies. It’s called discernment, and Jesus commanded we use it.

  • “This is the definition of depravity”

    I suppose it’s YOUR definition of depravity — but you just said that what is good, or depraved, is up to the individual to decide. Which leaves no room for a concept of “depravity” in any universally significant sense, only preferences.

    There have been numerous cultures which considered suicide to be quite a noble thing in some circumstances. Why should anyone care what YOU consider depraved?

  • Christ’s parting words at the last supper were to the Father, not to the apostles, and constituted a plea for a unity among them based in His word and His truth, not to be shaken by the world’s hatred:

    “I have given them your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not pray that you should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.”

    His parting words to the apostles were actually: “In the world you will have tribulations, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.”

  • Do you ever, perhaps, go to feminist boards and announce that the various issues of concern to feminists being discussed there are insignificant because they don’t rise to the level of burkas, polygamy and honor killings?

  • Shawnie,

    I know about depravity the same way everyone else does.
    Here is depravity:
    To happily twist a human being onto a torture device and open his veins so the blood drains out in excruciating unbearable agony.

    “Behold, the Lamb of God (blood sacrifice) !”- (John 1:36)

    Yahweh turned into a human form named Jesus so he could arrange for himself to be tortured and to bleed to death (like a lamb) as a sickening blood sacrifice to himself to save humanity of the Hell he created.

    But the plan won’t work unless everyone believes in the plan.
    That is depravity. And even people of other religions know it.

  • No, you’re wrong. This country was founded by people who had seen first hand the evils done by state endorsed religion and they didn’t want witch burnings, or torture, or any of the other awful things that ignorance mixed with superstition drives. We have a strictly secular government in the USA so that all religions can be practiced in peace – while still finding common ground when we need to pave the streets or deal with the sewerage.

    Marriage is a Civil contract. Weddings are performed by religious. Two different things. If you don’t believe me, where do divorces happen? Not in a church. And every American has a right to the benefits and protections of that contract.

    BTW, there’s no devil. You were just told that to scare you into behaving the way somebody else wanted. No monsters under the bed either. Aren’t you relieved?

  • Shawnie:

    “for I have overcome the world..” – JESUS

    Incoherent gibberish.
    What changed in the world in that (supposedly) amazing moment of death when Jesus (supposedly) stopped breathing on the cross?

    There were wars before Jesus
    and wars since Jesus! What exactly has Jesus ‘conquered’?

    These horrible gospels are just
    wicked assemblage of superstitious REVENGE PORN!


    Millions have been burned alive in torture and blood – and for what? Improper interpretations of lost languages and enigmatic Aramaic? We must have more respect for ourselves than this!

    Where is the perfect message?
    I don’t know if a real god exists but it certainly can’t be this one!

    “Slaughter them all in front of me.” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

  • Shawnie:

    “…you just said that what is good, or depraved, is up to the individual to decide.”

    Did you think Jesus decides!? LOL.

    “If you deem [them] unworthy…” JESUS – (Matthew 10:13)
    (1 Corinthians 5:11)
    “Avoid Them” (Romans 16:17)
    “have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed.” (2 Thessalonian 3:14)
    “Kill my enemies in front of me” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

    SO WHO DECIDES, Shawnie?

    You do!
    Who decides who is worthy or forgiven?
    You do!
    Who decides who is shunned?
    You do!
    Who decides who must be killed?
    You do!

    Would you forgive a thief? Or kill the thief as an enemy of Christ? Jesus supports either decision – but it is in your hands.

    Christianity fools you into thinking the decisions are God’s. Nonsense. Atheists cut out the middle man and take personal responsibility, which is why prisons are full of Christians – not Atheists.

  • Max – You’re doing what the religious fundamentalists do… you are selectively taking portions of the Bible out of context to try to prove or support your point. While it may work in the heart and mind of the person who does it, it doesn’t work so well overall. It makes it too easy to dismiss your opinion.

  • I’ll write this again – Max, your selective and out of context use of small portions of the Bible to try to prove or support your point does not help your position. You end up doing the same thing the religious fundamentalists do, which makes it too easy to dismiss your opinion.

  • Max, really, try harder. I’ll write this again – your selective and out of context misuse of small portions of the Bible make it too easy to dismiss your opinion. You’re acting like the fundamentalists.

  • “That is depravity. And even people of other religions know it.”

    They don’t KNOW anything wrt this. There are only preferences for or against . After all, “people of other religions,” and no religion at all, created this and many other varieties of torture for what they considered very legitimate reasons. What you consider “depraved” is of no actual moral consequence to anyone but you.

  • The main thing that “changed in the world” is that the world lost its previously inescapable power to draw us all into eternal death. We no longer have to die eternally, unless we want to.

    But if you had ever received an education in western civilization you would also know that with the spread of Christianity into the pagan world our species finally received a view of man’s inherent worth and the sanctity of human life that allowed us to progress into the ethical system we take for granted today and become the world’s standard-bearer for human rights. It hasn’t always been followed perfectly, because we are still fallen creatures, but it is always there calling us back. Perhaps you might finally be rid of it one day if its source grows small enough to ignore– but you probably won’t like what you get, for you’ll be back to the natural defaults that we started with millenia ago.

  • @Blgriffith,

    “You are doing what fundamentalists do..”

    KIM DAVIS uses the Bible – a primitive, fanatical saga of tribalist hatreds, superstitious powers and bigotries – as an instruction book.

    The Bible is where KIM DAVIS gets her rotten ideas about how to treat people and you need to know it:

    “Kill them…” – JESUS
    “Hate them” – JESUS
    “Deem them unworthy” – JESUS
    “Drown them with millstones” – JESUS
    “Avoid them” – (Romans 16:16)

    Only look at KIM DAVIS’ cruel, bigoted behavior and you will see
    the consequences of this depraved, divisive, inhuman philosophy of Jesus as it is properly practiced.

    I don’t blame you for running away from your Bible. It is a disgusting book.

  • Blgriffith,

    KIM DAVIS claims the Bible is where she gets her instructions.
    I have no choice but to examine those instructions!

    “The master shall cut him to pieces” – JESUS
    “Execute them in front of me..” – JESUS
    “Deem them unworthy…testify against them.” – JESUS
    “They are dogs” – JESUS
    “They are SWINE” – JESUS

    Therefore let us fully examine the depravity in these instructions.
    And question why anyone should bother with them!

  • @Blgriffith,

    KIM DAVIS claims the Bible is where she gets her wicked instructions. I have no choice but to examine those instructions:

    “We command you…in the name of Lord Jesus…keep away from them…” (2 Thessalonians 3:6)

    “Avoid Them” (Romans 16:17)

    “For whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.” (2 John 1:11)

    “go and tell him his fault.” (Matthew 18:15)

    such a person is warped and sinful..” (Titus 3:9-11)

    Let him be removed from among you.” (1 Corinthians 1:13)

    “Have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed.” (2 Thessalonians 3:14)

    I’ll say it again:

    KIM DAVIS claims the Bible is where she gets her wicked instructions.
    I have no choice but to take her word for it and examine those instructions:

  • Blgriffith,

    I’ll write this again,

    KIM DAVIS claims the Bible is her instruction book.
    I have no choice but to examine those instructions:

    “I have come to bring FIRE…What constraints! I am impatient to bring NOT PEACE BUT DIVISION.” – Jesus (Luke 12:49-51)

    “I shall kill her children with Death” – Jesus (REV. 2:23)

    “And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet AS A TESTIMONY AGAINST THEM.” – JESUS (Luke 9:3-5)

    “I did not come to bring peace, but a sword…I came to set a man against his daughter, and a daughter against her mother, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; and A MAN’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD.” – JESUS (Matthew 10:35)

    Pure depravity.

  • @Blgriffith,

    “out of context…”

    The Bible has no ‘user’s manual’ because it very arrogantly claims to BE the user’s manual!

    KIM DAVIS is using the Bible as an instruction book. Not me.
    KIM DAVIS is an example of the bigotry inherent in this depraved, primitive saga known as ‘The Bible’.

    I have no choice but to examine the instructions KIM DAVIS claims to be following and to call attention to their depravity. Her bigoted attitudes are not a result of her misunderstanding her Bible – but of understanding it very well.

  • @Shawnie:

    “We no longer have to die eternally, unless we want to.”

    What a selfish theory.
    So the depraved killing of another human being on a torture device 2000 years ago – his blood spilling on the ground sealed this deal for you? This doesn’t disgust you?

    But it only works if we:
    avoid homosexuals (Romans 16:17)
    kill God’s enemies (Luke 19:27)
    cut off our wive’s hands off (DEUT. 25:11)
    agree to hate our entire family (Luke 14:26)

    And who are you spending eternity with? Other Christians who hated their families, too? And… insufferable Yahweh?

    “Cursed be he who does the Lord’s work remissly, cursed he who holds back his sword from blood.” (Jer. 48:10)

    I choose a life of freedom, kindness and mercy instead!
    No fearful groveling to superstitions for me.

    Jesus clearly changed nothing. His plan to change the world by bleeding to death was foolish.

  • Shawnie:

    “man’s inherent worth and the sanctity of human life”

    Man’s worth?
    we are a vain enough species without this theory. Humans are animals and we need to respect nature in order to survive. The Jesus theory claims we are above nature – and that is despicable and vainglorious. It is arrogant – the opposite of humility!

    Sanctity of human life – thanks to Jesus? Nonsense!
    You think parents didn’t love their children before the Jesus theory was invented? If that were the case, we would not have Aesop’s fables, Bahgavatgita or Greek gods.

    The Jesus Theory superimposed itself on other theories already prevalent in the region. You call them ‘pagan’ but they are all based on the same myths – Jesus most of all!

    Zoroaster was the first man/god Jesus-type.
    3000 years before Jesus!
    The 3 wise men were Zoroastrians planted into the Jesus story to pay homage to the new Theory! – to SUPPLANT IT! LOL!

    Poor you.

  • “And who are you spending eternity with? Other Christians who hated their families, too? And… insufferable Yahweh?”

    Other Christians who did not literally “hate” their families of course but who did love God with such devotion that all other earthly loves rank like hate in comparison….yes, hopefully. And if you find Yahweh insufferable, then that is why He allows you to opt out of an “insufferable” eternity spent with Him. In the end, He gives us what we want.

    “And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil.” John 3:19.

    “I choose a life of freedom, kindness and mercy instead!” -You “choose” it because you are a product of a culture steeped in Judeo-Christian values. “Mercy” was not something the pagans considered a virtue but, indeed, more of a character weakness. Highly amusing how you deny Christianity changed anything while demonstrating the change.

  • “despicable and vainglorious…” There is no room in your scheme of things for “despicable.” Only preferences.

    “You think parents didn’t love their children before the Jesus theory was invented?”

    Parents certainly viewed their children very differently. Otherwise we would not have had so many newborns fed to the animals that Dio Cassius pinpointed it as the primary cause of Greece’s decline. Or respected historians such as Tacitus calling it “revolting and sinister” that the Jews felt every newborn should be raised and nurtured. Or soldiers writing affectionate letters home to their pregnant wives casually instructing them to expose the child should it be female. And I will spare everybody the accounts of how Native-American WOMEN dealt with captives’ children who made too much noise or trouble…

    For the rest, if I want conspiracy theories I’ll buy a National Enquirer.

    Now if you;ll excuse me I have a cafe date with hubby…

  • Shawnie,

    “Other Christians who did not literally “hate” their families of course..”


    Where did you get the idea Jesus was only joking!?
    How convenient of you to disregard the words of Jesus – to claim he was only kidding!

    Why not say Jesus’ warning about Hell were only kidding too?
    Maybe the whole Crucifixion stuff was just kidding – maybe he wasn’t really dead at all!

    Why stop there!?

  • From the context of the rest of the passage, Einstein. Which speaks of not undertaking the way of the cross to which He calls His disciples without being prepared to walk away from anything and everything which interferes with it, even if that means giving up parents, spouse or children. Matt.19:29 noted this specifically. Jesus Himself had to walk away from family to fulfill His mission.

    And knowing Jesus and the many layers of meaning in His words, He was probably also making a backhanded reference to the fact that becoming His disciple will many times be perceived as “hatred” and betrayal by others, even by our nearest and dearest. The words of Tacitus on the subject is a glowing example.

  • Google me: jeffreydavidmorris,

    What those of MAN’S LAW is defieing God’s Law that / which has (!!!) over ALL of Man, period! Re: Casey Davis, and fellow sister: Kim Davis; Kim, like our fellow sister’s AND brother’s 20 centuries ago, YOU hang in there, Holy Trinity is with you always! You MUST remain standing – for HIM, no matter what. You know Kim your NOT the only One whom has been in this or that situation before 20 – 70 centuries TO DATE, despite what human incomprehensible WORSE is yet to come BECAUSE of us – humanity as a Whole. Your just another fellow human (sister) I pray for!

    God destroyed Sodom & Gomorrah; THEIR trying to bring it back anewed! Genesis 19, Exodus 32, ETC 20 – 70 centuries TO DATE! Per / via their own individual Free Will ie: exhibited clearly: i.f.w. – ill free will usage, (hence, evil / unholy, misc / etc). You have a eternal opportunity Kim, before all of the world NOW to speak before that judge, etc. Speak and…

  • This refers to putting God before anything – even your family. It’s about idol worship. Existed then, in Medieval times and certainly now.

  • All of Corinthians 5:11…I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. 11But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler– not even to eat with such a one. 12For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church?…a church has to set some standards, yo. Especially if they are BELIEVERS. Believers should know better. That’s what this is about.

  • Atheist Max, I think you want to believe Jesus or you wouldn’t be reading this stuff or posting at all. Love to you. May you find His everlasting, albeit challenging, peace.

  • Do you have any sense of cultural context? Slavery then and slavery of African Americans were very different things. Of course American slave owners had no sense of cultural context either. Respect for history, y’all! Respect for history!

  • He knows that, for he’s been schooled on it many times. He keeps repeating it in order to win converts among the scripturally ignorant.

  • Many very opposing opinions make for interesting reading. I observe in these argument very valid points. My question to anyone is thus: if the American Society over the course of its history has been “enlightened” of its bigotry and intolerance and has evolved to support abolishing slavery, women’s rights, and now gay marriage, when will our society’s enlightened evolution include legalizing polyamory, pedophilia, bestiality? A pedophile can take the same arguments presented to the SCOTUS, and apply the very same CONSTITUTION law to support their rights, BUT…IT WILL NOT HAPPEN! WHY? Christians preach against it, (though certain factions tolerated pedophilia, it was always deemed wrong by Christians by large), and non-religious by whatever moral code they subscribe to also reject pedophilia or bestiality, so I ask, Why make it legal to have gay marriage and not allow 5 persons be married to each other?

  • @Antoine,

    “Why make it legal to have gay marriage and not allow 5 persons be married to each other?

    Mormons are allowed by law to have many wives.
    The age of consent is 18. When consenting adults make lawful decisions they ought not be policed.

    Pedophilia is outlawed because it has been so deemed minors (anyone under 18) do not have the maturity to consent to sex and will be needlessly harmed by it – so Pedophilia is always rape.

    Nobody needs to consult any ancient texts to know the difference between civil and uncivil behavior. If no harm is being done and consenting individuals are old enough to decide – it is not society’s duty to intervene.

  • @Shawnie:

    “.. prepared to walk away from anything and everything which interferes with it…”

    Shame on Jesus, then.
    Because he has spoken out of two sides of his mouth and claiming each statement equally true! And they cannot be.
    On the one hand he says LOVE NO MATTER WHAT. Yet here he says HATE THEM NO MATTER WHAT. And it is absolutely disgusting – and impossible to do both!

    You fail to see the proof right in front of you.
    Jesus is imaginary and full of nonsense.

  • > You do know, I hope, that not every Christian agrees with your interpretation of the Bible on the gay issue itself.

    I believe I’ve heard some fundamentalist Christians call themselves “real” Christians, by which they mean people who calls themselves Christian and don’t agree with their interpretations are not real Christians anyway, so even listening to their interpretations is a waste of time.

  • Max, you misunderstood Shawnie’s point, as I mentioned.

    I see you’re now railing against Lincoln and the abolitionists of his day, most of whom saw slavery as an offense against God and Scripture.

    So the idea that American chattel slavery was an offense against God and His Word was not some retrospective spin long after slavery was abolished. Rather, it was a major motivator in the drive that led to abolition.

    That doesn’t mean most Bible-believing Christians opposed slavery… does mean that a disproportionate percentage of those who opposed slavery were Bible-believing Christians.

    And in fact, abolitionists were deemed “religious fanatics” by the pro-slavery Max types of the mid-19th century. Most of the ire directed against abolitionists came not from people citing Scripture but from people citing economics and the ways of the world.

  • Larry, you see the relationship between religion and public life like a Frenchman, not an American.

    Your views mirror the French notion of laicite, where religion is driven out of the public square, rather than competing equally with other forms of expression.

    I don’t know how many generations you’re removed from Old Europe, but sometimes you sound like you’re right off the boat….and that you’re more French Revolution than American Revolution.

  • Mirecourt, assuming you’re not one of our board regulars who likes to acquire new names at the speed of light, you weren’t there when I and others tried to have rational debates and discussions with Max about the content of his posts. We learned after a while that Max is not interested in dialogue of any kind. He’s like a guy with a sandwich board bellowing his message on the street, without any interest in an exchange of views or hearing alternative explanations for his accusations about Bible verses. He is impervious to new facts which may contradict his hatred of the Bible.

  • Well said, Shawnie. He makes lots of sophomoric mistakes, some of which should have embarrassed him if he had any shame. When people point out the mistakes, he responds by shifting the subject, and then pops up days later, posting the same error-filled message.

  • @Jack,

    “Slavery is okay”

    Shame on you.
    Your slave-loving god is an abomination to humanity.

    “If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.” – GOD (Exodus 21:20)

    Compare this to Atheist humanism:
    “Owning other people is inhumane”

    You are depraved if you think there is something to discuss. Your God is a sickening monster and you are diminished for defending slavery.

    Shame on you.

  • @Jack,

    “…if he had any shame”

    You defend this and dare to speak of shame?:

    “If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property. – God (Exodus 21:20)

    SHAME on you. This trash of yours is indefensible.

  • Jack,

    “He is impervious to new facts which may contradict his hatred of the Bible.”

    I’m sorry – did I miss God’s love again?

    “Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can give these slaves to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life…” – GOD (Leviticus 25:44)

    When I insist on dialogue about your God you run and hide!

    Shame on you for believing this to be good!
    Shame on you for not renouncing slavery.


    You can give these slaves to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life…” – GOD (Leviticus 25:44)


  • JACK,

    “where religion is driven out of the public square, rather than competing equally with other forms of expression.”

    Oh, get a grip yourself.
    The foolish nonsense of Jesus is splattered everywhere!
    400 channels for Christian Broadcasts where every single one of them is praying the other to Hell – Not one of them is Atheist! NOT ONE!

    Meanwhile we here this:
    “The devil is supreme Lord of this world”

    Brilliant. Where is he? Oh – you can’t find Satan? Can’t show me where he is? SOME PERSECUTION you got there. What a whiner.

  • Max, I’m trying to decide whether your last post — accusing me of being pro-slavery when I said exactly the opposite — proves you are a functional illiterate or proves you are a pathological liar.

    It’s hard to say because you often display a reading comprehension deficit and you often lie like a rug….and I mean really lie in a big way.

    Again, while unfortunately most Biblical Christians in the 19th century went along with the rest of society and failed to condemn slavery, those Americans who did condemn slavery were disproportionately Biblical Christians….and I suspect a majority were.

  • Max, the quote refers to the French model, which Larry evidently favors, not the American model, which is the opposite.

    I am commenting on Larry’s French view, not the American reality.

    Reread the post and see.

  • @Jack,

    This is the God you love.

    “You can give these slaves to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life…” – GOD (Leviticus 25:44)

    He disgusts me.
    Shame on you.

  • There is no room for “shame” in your scheme of things, Max.–which may be why you have none. There is room for only bald facts, opinions, and preferences.

  • EWhy make it legal for a man to marry a woman and not make it legal for a man to marry five.

    The question is a non sequitur.

  • You make the claim but never back it up with anything which would make the analogy plausible. Its just more ad hominem as usual.

    You always seem to forget that religious freedom in the US comes in 2 parts.

    1. Free exercise of religion
    2. Separation of church and state, which ensures #1

    The 2nd part is always omitted in your attempts to pretend that official government sanctioned religious endorsement is somehow free exercise of religion. Private individuals are free to express their faith, government offices may not.

    Government offices expressing faith in their official duties shows endorsement and attacks the liberties of those outside that faith. Not like that is of any concern of yours.

    You are more a poo slinger than someone with a legitimate argument to make.

  • God’s judgment already happened when he brought Jesus into this world to live and die as one of us and to take our sins upon the cross. We have nothing to fear from God (who constantly says “fear not”). Someone really needs to reread Romans, in its entirety, for comprehension this time.

  • @Max
    “Execute them”(IT’S A PARABLE!!!)
    “Hate Them”(Jesus is wanting us to love him and put him before our family. God first.)
    “Avoid Them” (It wasn’t teaching to avoid, but rather to be wise about what is good and evil.)
    “Do not associate with the GUILTY” (Paul makes it clear that we should not disassociate ourselves from unbelievers- otherwise, we would not carry out Christ’s command to tell them about salvation. But we are to distance ourselves from the person who claims to be a Christian, yet indulges in sin explicitly forbidden in Scripture and then rationalizes his or her actions.)
    “Bad company” (Teaching the same point as above, also honing in on the fact that ‘bad company’ is corruptive and corrosive to the soul and can lead us away from Christ.
    “Do not even to eat with such a one.” (Once again, he’s not talking about those on the outside of church—“not AT ALL meaning the people of this world who are immoral…you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a BROTHER…”

  • Kelly,

    “Kill them” – JESUS
    Yes it is a parable where JESUS explains what how he will arrange the slaughter of the disobedient servants when he returns as the Nobleman in the Parable returned.

    You excuse all the bigotry and hatred in the Bible because your parents indoctrinated you into believing it was love. Non Christians have always known the Jesus stories are full of hate.

    “I have come to burn the world. I am frustrated the fire is not yet kindled” – JESUS

    Jesus is a mess of contradictions, fables, legends and wickedness. Not a god. And NOT GOOD.

  • David,

    I think your analysis dismisses the reality of persecution as part of authentic Christianity. To be specific, Kim Davis has some precedent on her side – Biblical precendent; picture Shadrach, Meshac and Abednigo agonizing over their decision to not bow down to Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image in ancient Babylon – the superpower of that time. You can argue they had no alternative to resign their government posts, unlike Ms. Davis, but that misses the more fundamental truth: Authentic Christianity (or authenticity of any belief system) will at some point place us in direct confrontation with the culture (non-Christian). And while not every case justifies defiance of the law, to say that no case does is to effectively put the law above God.

  • Re: “But, when God clearly says in His word how marriage is defined …”

    “God’s word” isn’t clear on this at all! First, polygamous marriage and even concubinage are approved:

    Abraham: Married Sarah (Gen 16:1), then took as additional wives Hagar (Gen 16:3) and later Keturah (Gen 25:1).
    Jacob: Married Leah (Gen 29:23), then Rachel (Gen 29:28), then Bilhah (Gen 30:4), then Zilpah (Gen 30:9).
    Moses: Married Zipporah (Ex 2:21), then an unnamed Ethiopian woman (Num 12:1).
    David: Named wives were Michal (1 Sam 18:27), Abigail (1 Sam 25:39), Ahinoam (1 Sam 25:43), Eglah, Abital, Haggith, & Maacah (2 Sam 3:3-5); & Bathsheba (2 Sam 12:24); plus an unknown number of other wives (2 Sam 5:13).
    Solomon: Had 700 wives plus 300 concubines (1 Kg 11:3)

    Later, we read:

    An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife … (1 Tim 3:2a)
    Deacons must be husbands of only one wife … (1 Tim 3:12a)

    “God’s word” is as clear as mud on the matter.

  • What I see, as an outside observer of Christianity, are some wingnuts and extremists within it, on the one hand (Ms Davis among them), and on the other, folks who claim those wingnuts and extremists don’t represent them. It’s understandable the latter group wouldn’t want the former making them look bad.

    What I don’t see are any efforts by the latter group to discipline and correct the former. The extremists are pretty much allowed to run amok and do whatever they want, without being confronted by moderates. The moderates, in sum, won’t do anything to the extremists; rather, they just implore outsiders to ignore the extremists.

    Well, “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain” didn’t work in The Wizard of Oz, and it doesn’t work in the real world either. At least, I’m not going to be swindled by it. Time for moderates to fix their religion … and correct and/or shut down the extremists in their midst. Get to it already.